Let down by colour! - Part 1

Truth be told, we all know well enough that at some point or the other it has crossed our minds. I know for a fact, that I fall victim here ever so often.Every image I capture is followed by a thought process, one which helps me deliberate if the image is as I would like it to be. Very often, as I said before, this is accompanied by a voice inside my head, questioning the apparent inclusion of colour. Don't get me wrong, I love colour but then again there is something so dramatically striking about keeping it simple, purely in black and white.

This here is the beginning of a series, a series of images based on a theme, where I will tell you all about a certain image and why I thought it looked better in black and white.

For the first part of the series I talk about one of my portraits.

My subject here was a lovely little boy, blessed with the energy levels of a cheetah on steroids. Like any kid his age he had his own agenda, and sitting pretty for me was definitely not on it. After constantly darting around with me in tow I eventually managed to coax him into a corner, and have him stand long enough to finally press the shutter button.
Now when I shot this image I wanted it to be all about him. Unfortunately, the image directly off the camera was polluted with rich colour in various areas. Due to this the focal point was being drawn away from his gorgeous face and those spectacular eyes. Converting the image to black and white meant I got what I was looking for, a simple image with ample meaning.
Let me know what you think and check back for part 2.

Under the influence

There's been a healthy addiction brewing, one which I haven't been able to contain so well. An addiction that many of my friends now know about. An addiction to architectural photography. I've been trying to track down its source, and recently while perusing some images I found the culprit. London! Yes, the beautiful city which holds a distinct balance between the old and new.It did heaps for me, notably by being the raging catalyst in my exploration of architectural photography. I've been influenced so much, that now I absolutely love this form of photography.

Every now and again the planets align in my favour and I'm rewarded with a unique opportunity. This time was no different.  I was told of a wondrous historical house, set upon a vast beautiful land, hidden cozily, not far from a coastal Sri Lankan town. It's not often that one mere sentence can inspire me, but this sure did and I was raving to go visit. If not for being inspired, I would definitely have been supported. This was one of those rare moments where I was accompanied by my missus on a photo trek. She loves travel as much as I do and is quite the adventure junkie herself. Excitement rising twofold off we went.
Just outside the picturesque coastal town of Bentota we detoured onto a road less traveled, and journeyed through some lush bush.Twenty minutes later we were met by an enormous wrought iron gate, glistening in all its glory after the light mid day rain. The hounds found us before the caretaker, and after quite the persuasion on his part they decided to let us in, but kept us within their sights.

To call this place surreal would have been the biggest understatement ever. It felt like something out of a novel, something that could have possibly been the work of the lady, famous for portraying a boy with a scar on his forehead. Sprawling, old yet intricately beautiful, oozing inspiration at every corner. What was even more mesmerizing was how much history it held. This was the very grounds on which renowned Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Manning Bawa once lived. Being a local I had heard so much about him, but having never been to such a site I was unable to fathom his intensely brilliant work. The craftsmanship was absolutely amazing. It depicted an era gone by but not forgotten. To capture it in a word, this place was a true 'gem'.
After a wonderful tour I set up my photo gear and began to work. One of my favourite images, in my particular style is that of the 'Porte Cochere and Glass Room'.

Let me know what you think.

For the love of 'objects'

Lately I've noticed a sudden surge of blog visitors from the largest country in the world. It took me by surprise initially, but it turns out that the guys who introduced us to the AK-47 assault rifle take their blog reading pretty seriously. If you're not so weapon savvy and your geography is really rusty then 'Russia' is the country I'm talking about.
One reader took it up a notch and wrote me an email, in what seemed the most bizarre yet fabulous font that I have ever laid my eyes upon. As much as I had to decipher the message, I was caught staring at how beautiful the russian text was. I eventually snapped out of it, and with a half decent effort from an online translator I managed to understand the crux of the matter.
In a nutshell 'Igor' wanted to know how I go about creating images of objects and what type of lens I used.

Now normally I don't like to get too technical, for fear that most people would feel I'm just rambling on about something that does not really interest them. But then again I'am a photographer, and if some one does care about how something is created and wants to know how, I feel that it is my responsibility to help them out. Information is definitely power.
I did reply to Igor's email and later realised that the contents of it were definitely worth sharing.

Photographing objects can be pretty awesome experience. What's amazing is that you don't really need something that looks like a million bucks. When I go about shooting objects I look for a few key elements, namely simplicity, form and texture.
To create the image, you obviously need the subject. Now this is where some photographers struggle. Overcoming this means having to think 'out of the box'. Once you do this everything else gets progressively easier. Look around you, at all those mundane looking objects. Look closer. You might have missed something about it that you never noticed. Now prop it on an interesting surface. Work the background. Get behind the camera and give it a few test shots. Notice how the image speaks to you? This is just the beginning. There are countless ways to experiment. If you read my post on 'Photography - beginner tips', you probably recall how I said that 'Experimentation is expected'. Keep at it and you will be rewarded.

With regard to the type of lens used, I personally find that my 'Nikon 50mm 1.8D' prime lens serves me very well. It helps to have a lens that lets in a surplus of light and provides tack sharp images. This particular one achieves both without a sweat. Another notable advantage is that it weighs close to nothing, so you can slip it into even the smallest of camera bags and carry it around. However, there are those that may prefer a prime with a longer fixed focal length. Obviously this would depend on what you usually photograph and how far you need to be. If you have the opportunity to try both, then this would definitely simplify your decision.
Below is an image that I captured using the above mentioned lens. I kept the background simple and accentuated the texture of the lamp, all the while maintaining a surface that works with the entire image. Do let me know what you think. As always I love to hear feedback.

A quick tease...

Yes, it's finally here! I've just received my new flash unit, and I'am so excited. I have to go take a closer look so I will leave you with a teaser of what's to come.

I was in a mad rush to open it, so I only managed to use my phone's camera for the shot above.